According to Sky Sports, Everton rejected an £85 million bid for Richarlison from Barcelona in January, and the Brazilian has lifted the lid on the rumours.
The Catalans were keen to lure the Toffees star to Camp Nou as he has been a long-standing target of sporting director Eric Abidal who made enquiries about him during the summer transfer window.
However, Richarlison turned down the chance to play with Lionel Messi and has revealed that he did so because he didn’t want to let his Everton teammates down and leave the club mid-way through the season.
“Several offers arrived in the middle of the season, from Barcelona, from Manchester,” the 22-year-old told Brazil Youtube channel Desimpedidos (via The Evening Standard).
“Then the club decided to hold on and I also didn’t want to leave the team in the middle of the season, it’s bad to let the teammates down.
“Of course, it is a balance, Barcelona is one of the biggest clubs in the world, but I think the happiness part weighs a little.”
Richarlison joined Everton for £40 million from Watford in July 2018, but the club weren’t keen to cash in on him despite the juicy bid from Barcelona.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side want to prove that they are no longer a selling club, and that will aid their top-six bid without a doubt.
The Brazil international has scored 10 league goals and assisted three others in 27 games this term and will be looking to impress when Liverpool come visiting later today as Everton look to secure a first Merseyside derby win since 2010.
Barcelona and co. will definitely keep watching him, and bids are going to come in for his signature this summer.
It remains to be seen if the Catalans will come after him again, but will Richarlison be willing to turn down another opportunity to play alongside arguably the best footballer of all time?